LEICESTER took total control of the promotion/relegation race-off with a thumping 58-32 win at Sheffield on Monday.
The Lions delivered a fast-gating display at Owlerton to demolish the SGB Championship winners and leave themselves strongly placed for their home leg next Monday as they look to secure top-flight survival.
Captain Danny King and reserve Kyle Newman both piled up 13+2 for the rampant Lions with No.1 Kim Nilsson on 13+1, whilst Lasse Bjerre supplied the main Tigers resistance with 12.
King said: “I'm really pleased for Leicester because Sheffield is a tough place to go.
"I felt good out there - the track suited me and it was enjoyable to go out there. Everything was right for me and the boys were brilliant. We worked hard as a team.
"It's so far, so good for us and we want to get the job done at home next Monday.”
Sheffield boss Simon Stead said: “We always knew this was going to be a big ask but it's the manner of the defeat that disappoints me more than anything.
"We didn't ride anywhere near like we are capable of at Sheffield and that was the most frustrating part for me.
"Take absolutely nothing away from Leicester though; they fired in almost every department and were easily the better team.”
GLASGOW are through to the SGB Championship KO Cup semi-finals after a last-eight tie which went down to the wire at Newcastle.
The Tigers were defending a narrow two-point lead from their home leg, with the Brough Park clash proving to be evenly-contested – and the aggregate scores were level with one race to go.
Glasgow pair Richie Worrall and Aaron Summers secured the vital Heat 15 5-1 over Steve Worrall and Ricky Wells, to set up a semi-final clash with Peterborough.
Tigers boss Stewart Dickson said: “It was very good. I did say that I felt the tie was far from over, as proved to be the case.
"We lost Jack Smith halfway through the meeting following a nasty-looking tumble and there were a couple of races where I had to just go with one rider.
"But we got there and we're delighted we're in the semi-final. Heat 15 was fantastic and it was a right good team effort from the boys, we had some great scores and we never gave up.”
Newcastle boss George English said: “This was always going to go down to the wire, and we did so well to hold it level on aggregate till the last heat, but they were dominant in Heat 15 and we wish Glasgow well in the semi final with Peterborough and hope they now go all the way for the trophy.
"For us, we fought well but just ran short of fire power when it was crucial and couldn't get our lads first past the post enough of the time with another chapter of disappointment to go into our record books.”
KENT skipper Luke Bowen completed the season in style with victory in the club’s Laurels individual event at Central Park.
Bowen got the better of several former Kings favourites and was joined on the rostrum by Simon Lambert and Ben Morey, with Paul Hurry in fourth place.
WOLVERHAMPTON will need a little help from their friends if they are to lift the SGB Premiership Knockout Cup.
Both Rory Schlein and Kyle Howarth have now joined Freddie Lindgren and Jacob Thorssell on the injury list and will miss both tonight’s (Tuesday) first leg against Belle Vue at Monmore and the return in Manchester 24-hours later.
The duo crashed in the Championship Pairs at Sheffield on Sunday. Schlein has a wrist problem and won’t race again this season and Howarth needs a week off with bad bruising of the lower back.
British icon Scott Nicholls is joined by former Wolves favourite Ricky Wells and Nick Morris in Wolves side for the first leg – whilst the Aces operate rider replacement for Max Fricke, who was hurt at Torun last weekend.
Boss Peter Adams said: “We’ve had too good a season just to surrender the cup now despite our injury problems.
“We know the size of the task but to have four of our top five now missing makes it extremely hard.
“Sam Masters will take up the captaincy and I have no doubt he will do a good job for us and the reserves will need to contribute.”
Aces skipper Craig Cook said: “It’s our last two meetings of the season and we’re determined to make them count. We want to bring at least one trophy back to Manchester this year and now is the perfect opportunity.
“Wolverhampton are seriously depleted and though we ourselves are without Max, on paper, we should be able to go to Monmore and make a decent impression ahead of the home leg.”
TUESDAY OCTOBER 10:
PREMIERSHIP KO CUP FINAL 1st leg: Wolverhampton v Belle Vue 7.30
WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 11:
PREMIERSHIP KO CUP FINAL 2nd leg: Belle Vue v Wolverhampton 7.30
PROMOTION/RELEGATION RACE-OFF 2nd leg: Leicester v Sheffield OFF (Now Mon Oct 16)
TONY MOLE FAREWELL MEETING: Birmingham v Coventry 7.30
THURSDAY OCTOBER 12:
CHAMPIONSHIP KO CUP S/F 1st leg: Sheffield v Ipswich 7.30
FRIDAY OCTOBER 13:
SGB CHAMPIONSHIP: Peterborough v Edinburgh 7.30
CHAMPIONSHIP KO CUP S/F 2nd leg: Ipswich v Sheffield 7.30
NATIONAL LEAGUE KO CUP S/F 1st/2nd leg: Belle Vue v Mildenhall 7.30
COLIN HILL MEMORIAL: Plymouth 7.15
Results Monday October 9, 2017
PROMOTION/RELEGATION RACE-OFF 1st leg
Sheffield 32 (Lasse Bjerre 12)
Leicester 58 (Danny King 13+2/Cameron Heeps 13+2)
CHAMPIONSHIP KO CUP Q/F 2nd leg
Newcastle 44 (Steve Worrall 12)
Glasgow 46 (Aaron Summers 12+1)
Glasgow win 92-88 on aggregate.
THE LAURELS, Kent
1 Luke Bowen (Kent)
2 Simon Lambert (King’s Lynn/Peterborough)
3 Ben Morley (Lakeside)
4 Paul Hurry (Lakeside)